Chancellor Malatras Announces SUNY’s Hispanic Leadership Institute Class of 2021

December 3, 2020

Eleven SUNY Faculty and Staff from Nine Campuses to Participate in Leadership Skill Development Programs for Emerging Hispanic/LatinX Leaders


SUNY to Select Inaugural HLI Director in Residence By Year End to Serve a One-Year Term Reporting to Executive Director and UAlbany President Rodríguez to Lead Operations and Build on the Rigorous Professional Program

To Date, 32 Up-and-Coming SUNY Leaders Have Graduated as HLI Fellows

Albany, NY – State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced that eleven faculty and staff from nine campuses have been selected as the 2021 class of fellows for SUNY's Hispanic Leadership Institute (HLI). The HLI is charged with developing and supporting the next generation of Hispanic/LatinX leaders across the SUNY system, and has graduated 32 SUNY leaders to date from the four-year old program. In addition, Chancellor, along with HLI Executive Director and University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez, and SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer Teresa Miller will select an HLI Director in Residence by the end of the year amongst the program's previous fellows to be the first to serve a one-year term to lead operations and help build on the rigorous professional program. SUNY will select a new director in residence each year to hold the leadership position, reporting to President Rodríguez.

"The Hispanic Leadership Institute provides rigorous training and support for our emerging leaders within the Hispanic and LatinX community that resembles some of the best executive leadership programs for chief executives—and as it grows it is creating opportunities for more of our faculty and staff," said Chancellor Malatras. "My congratulations to this year's class, and to our former graduates, including those within the 2020 graduating class who persevered during an extraordinary year. I recently had the opportunity to meet with them and other fellows, and was impressed by their energy and creativity in how we may manage differently to better serve our students. I welcome their ideas and collaborations going forward, and I look forward to selecting a fellow to serve as the new HLI Director in Residence, a one-year high visibility leadership opportunity. My thanks also to University at Albany's President Havidán Rodríguez who continues to serve as a role model, a mentor, and one of the program's greatest champions."

SUNY Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Cesar Perales said, "The opportunity to participate in SUNY's Hispanic Leadership Institute is one that is life-changing for the participants and provides the graduates with the essential framework to return to their institutions and affect positive change for themselves, their colleagues, and SUNY's Hispanic/LatinX students. By continuing to lift diversity up throughout our system, SUNY remains a leader in higher education when it comes to equity and inclusion efforts, and the members of our 2021 class—and all graduates of the Institute—act as stewards of these values throughout New York State. Congratulations to our newest HLI Fellows, and we look forward to working with you to better serve SUNY's Hispanic/LatinX students."

SUNY Trustee Marcos Crespo said, "The Hispanic Leadership Institute was first launched when I was an assembly member and chair of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, and it had my full support then just as it does today as a model for how we can make our institutions more diverse. It may begin as a six-month program, but it actively engages past and present fellows to offer continual support and growth for our up-and-coming leaders. My congratulations to this year's class for earning this opportunity."

HLI Executive Director and University at Albany President Rodríguez said, "These individuals are already having an impact on their campuses, and with the Institute's professional development training, their influence is certain to grow. I applaud them for their dedication to the students at SUNY and look forward to working with each one of them."

SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Miller said, "The Hispanic Leadership Institute showcases SUNY's efforts to make the university system the most inclusive in the nation by developing the leadership potential of faculty and staff from groups historically underrepresented in higher education administration. When we invest in their success, we foster a more inclusive climate across New York State."

This year's class of fellows reflects the depth and breadth of SUNY and is comprised of staff and faculty from university centers and four-year comprehensive institutions. The fellows are:

  • Karla Jaime-Benitez, University at Albany, Director, Campus Center
  • E. Angela Herrera Canfield, Cornell University, Director, Undergraduate Admission, School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR)
  • AnnaMaria Cirrincione, SUNY Cortland, Director of Multicultural Life and Diversity
  • Ana Costa, MD, Stony Brook University Hospital, Renaissance School of Medicine, Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Assistant Program Director for Residency Education
  • Angelina Díaz-Myers, Ph.D., University at Albany, Licensed Psychologist, Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Julieta Majak, SUNY New Paltz, Assistant Vice President for Administration and Finance
  • Fred Millán, Ph.D., SUNY Old Westbury, Director, Graduate Mental Health Counseling Program, Interim Undergraduate Psychology Chair and Professor of Psychology
  • Rowena Ortiz-Walters, Ph.D., SUNY Plattsburgh, Dean of School of Business and Economics
  • Angeliki Papavlassopulos, MD, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Director of OB/GYN Ambulatory Care Services and Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology 
  • Lynda Perdomo-Ayala, Stony Brook University Hospital, Renaissance School of Medicine, Administrative Department Head, Pharmacological Sciences
  • Glenn Pichardo, SUNY SAIL Institute Leadership Development Specialist, Senior Counselor, SUNY Oneonta, Educational Opportunity Program

The 2020 HLI Fellows graduating class was the first during President Rodríguez's tenure as HLI Executive Director. The class includes:

  • Anibal Torres Bernal, SUNY Morrisville, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Sciences & Society
  • Yoly Gonzalez-Stucker, University at Buffalo, Associate Professor, Program Director, Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, School of Dental Medicine
  • Audeliz Matias, SUNY Empire State College, Interim Department Chair of Mathematics and Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences
  • Dalia Muller, University at Buffalo, Associate Professor, Latin American and Caribbean History
  • Angela Rios, Dutchess Community College, Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Jerry Rivera-Wilson, University at Albany, Director of Professional Development and Continuing Education, School of Education
  • Christina Vargas, Suffolk County Community College, Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator

The HLI is working with the SUNY SAIL Institute to design a program that seeks to enhance leadership, team building, communication, and problem-solving skills. The program will provide individual assessments to ensure progress and success among the fellows. HLI Fellows will use a personal assessment tool known as DiSC to better understand their personality and behavior and develop skills to work with people who have differing styles.

This year's program will invite previous HLI Fellows again to share their knowledge and experiences as HLI alumni, and one will be selected as the new HLI Director in Residence by year end, serving a one-year term overseeing the 2021 program reporting to Executive Director Rodríguez and building on the program's standards of excellence.

For applicants not selected for this year's HLI class, the Institute is organizing a one-day virtual summer leadership training workshop. Participants will receive an introduction to the HLI program and its selection process. They will also have the opportunity to discuss how to strengthen their applications to ensure future success, should they decide to apply again.


The SUNY Hispanic Leadership Institute serves as a resource for Hispanic and LatinX leaders in higher education, both in New York State and across the country. Its mission is to foster and support the professional development and retention of current and emerging leaders to create a more diverse university system.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY's 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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